This is the professional portfolio of Peter A. Zink. I’m currently a lecturer at Boston University. Below are links to a sample of the work and projects that I’ve engaged in over the last few years.
Automation & Manufacturing
Designed and built to demonstrate real-world manufacturing, production and operations issues to engineering students, the Automated Design and Manufacturing Facility (ADMF) in EPIC was recently updated with state-of-the-art CNC machines, collaborative industrial robots and a smart vision system. This equipment is primarily used for ME345: Automation and Manufacturing Methods. Both for the course and beyond, the novel capabilities of these systems provide significant opportunities for students related to automation and advanced manufacturing.
Specific opportunities for students include: - Learning to program and operate a CNC mill and lathe; program, operate, and optimize an industrial 6-axis robot arm and optimize a modern robot-integrated vision system - Familiarity with the tools and techniques for converting a product design into a manufacturable product - Experience with a coordinated computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) system
Automated Design & Manufacturing Facility @BU
This video highlights some of the capabilities and learning objectives of the Flexible Manufacturing Cell (FMC) in the ADMF.
Conceptual Design & Prototyping
I have many years of experience teaching engineering design courses, and love to apply those skills to my own projects.
This is a simple Arduino-nano powered claw used in class to demonstrate of real-time feedback and control with simple resistive pad sensors located on the “fingertips” of the claw. If the pressure on the pads increases, the resistance goes down, and the claw opens so as to not crush the cup. A decrease in pressure on the pads increases the resistance and the claw closes so as to not drop the cup. In a range where the cup will be held but not crushed, the claw holds still.
Ultrasonic Sensor Demonstration
This simple ultrasonic sensor demo uses an Arduino nano, an ultrasonic sensor, speaker and LED panel to demonstrate measuring distance with sonar.
The freqency of the tone played is proportional to the distance measured. A randomizer changes the timing of the distance measurements, creating an R2D2-like effect. The LED panel blinks every time a measurement is made.
Stepper Motor & Open-Loop Control
Uses an arduino nano, and a 28BYJ-48 5V stepper motor and driver to demonstrate open-loop control.
For the first 19 seconds, the arduino energizes each of the stepper coils one at a time, and the red LEDs on the driver light up accordingly. The stepper is geared so with one turn of the motor there is neglible movement of the arm.
In the second part, the coils are energized in rapid succession (so the individual LEDs are no longer visibly blinking), and cause the arm to move through 90 degrees.
If the arm is held still (not shown), there is no feedback to the controller, thus, it is open loop.
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
I’ve been working with CAD for over fifteen years and teaching it since 2012. I’m fluent with Creo, SolidWorks, OnShape, Inventor and Fusion360, capable of creating models, functional drawings with traditional tolerancing and GD&T, mechanized assembly analysis, finite element analysis and more.
Two-stage Epicyclic Gear Train
CAD (PTC Creo) Model and Mechanism of a Two-stage Epicyclic Gear Train. Part of a project I created for the BU Mechanical Engineering introductory CAD course, students disassemble a Black & Decker portable screwdriver, analyze and model the gearbox inside.
Injection-Molded Part, Mold Flow Analysis
Mold-flow analysis of a plastic part. Mold and inserts show in image.
I first learned about honeybees from Tom Sisson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI4oQgJVe-Q) who encouraged me to read “The Life of the Bee”, by Maurice Maeterlinck (audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JlE5pNvCXk). It’s a great book for learning about the magic that happens in a hive. Tom taught me to move slowly and calmly around the bees, and that he learned something new every day from the bees. I do my best to take the same approach. Honeybees are critically important for our food system!
A collection of slow motion videos of a happy beehive in Trout Lake, Washington. Orange pollen is visible on the legs of some of the returning worker bees.
These honeybees are bearding — they’re relaxing outside of the hive because it was too hot inside, allowing it to cool off.
She’s eating a little sugar off of my finger.
Managing the hives. Smoke in the foreground. A little smoke triggers an instinct in the bees to eat, and once they’ve eaten some honey, they get really relaxed and happy, so they’re easier to work with.
Can you spot the queen? Hint: she has a long abdomen.